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Old 28-07-2018, 22:09   #1
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Customs - Duty Importing Boat to US

Suppose I import a Canadian boat at no cost (free) to the US. The rules I read said the duty would be 1-1/2%. So the question is 1.5% of what? Also, I am thinking of sailing it from Ontario to Ohio using the Welland Canal to Cleveland. Where would I check in at customs? I don't want anyone shooting at me (LOL), sort of. Any Ideas or answers?
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Old 28-07-2018, 22:57   #2
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Re: Customs - Duty Importing Boat to US

You will need a sales contract anyhow to transfer title so instead of free make it $1 (you need that anyway to make the contract valid)
Be advised that the border agents might have other ideas if they think you are trying to pull a fast one. They will then do a valuatio of their own and charge based on that.
Can't answer the 'where to check in' question ... sorry.
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Old 30-07-2018, 19:44   #3
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Re: Customs - Duty Importing Boat to US

Yes with all assets not just vehicles, and applies domestically not just importing, even if it was 100% Free, you are better off putting down a low but believable amount, give the taxman a nominal donation just to save on hassles.

More generally faced with any bureaucrat, give them what they want and expect, i's dotted t's crossed, Alles In Ordnung, let them keep mindlessly pushing their paper, stamp stamp done on your way.

Soon as you make them think, they're likely to make life miserable for you.
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Old 31-07-2018, 05:57   #4
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Re: Customs - Duty Importing Boat to US

Quote:
Originally Posted by john61ct View Post
Soon as you make them think, they're likely to make life miserable for you.
Ain't THAT the truth!


Of course, the one time when you WANT them to think, they will absolutely refuse to switch on the grey matter.
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Old 31-07-2018, 07:27   #5
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Re: Customs - Duty Importing Boat to US

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Originally Posted by mlavia57 View Post
Suppose I import a Canadian boat at no cost (free) to the US. The rules I read said the duty would be 1-1/2%. So the question is 1.5% of what? Also, I am thinking of sailing it from Ontario to Ohio using the Welland Canal to Cleveland. Where would I check in at customs? I don't want anyone shooting at me (LOL), sort of. Any Ideas or answers?
Iíve gone the other way with a boat (US to Canada), so the process may differ. But I know our Border folks have the discretion to either accept the valuation on your Bill of Sale, OR they can access the taxes and duties based on standard market value of the item

I agree with John; better to give them a low, but still reasonable, number that they can work with. The trick with bureaucracy is to avoid raising any flags. If you do, then the bureaucrat is obligated to do work, and to follow the prescribed rules. This rarely works out well for us.

Not sure about the US customs check in following the Welland. But you wonít have to clear in till after you go through the Canal. Itís 100% Canadian. Of course, you could clear into the USA before entering the canal.
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Old 31-07-2018, 11:35   #6
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Re: Customs - Duty Importing Boat to US

If there is a "book" value to the boat and you want to substantiate a much lower value for import and tax purposes, it may help to have the bill of sale noting the condition and the reason why, i.e.:
"twenty five foot sloop in poor condition, sold as is where is, no running engine, no sails, keel damaged, needs new standing rigging, no batteries or electronics, hull in need of structural repair" however miserable you can make it.
Of course some of that might come back to bite you when and if you need to insure it, and prove to the insurers that it is safe to underwrite.
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